Florida Timeshare Scams Inspire New Legislation

The State of Florida’s Attorney General recently said that timeshare resale fraud is the number one complaint that their office has received over the last three years. In fact, over 19,000 complaints have been filed in Florida since 2009. While mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, and pill mills have the highest visibility in the state (especially when you consider the cost) timeshare resale fraud receives the most input from the public through complaints filed.

In Florida there are over 400 timeshare resorts and an annual sales of over $2 billion! Even though timeshare resales are capturing as much as 20% of that market, the fraud committed by timeshare resale scams usually goes like this: “they call timeshare owners and tell them that they had a buyer lined up for their units. In order to complete the sale however, the owners would have to pay upfront fees of about $2,000. After collecting the payment, the employees would fail to follow through with the sale, and refuse to refund the fees to the unit owners, according to a federal indictment” against one timeshare fraud scheme.  (source)

The new timeshare resales law being proposed in Florida in summary: “Timeshare Resale Accountability Act – Prohibit timeshare advertisers from lying about having a buyer on standby, and would force them to have a written agreement before collecting a payment. It would also allow timeshare owners to cancel those agreements within seven days for a full refund.”

As always be sure to check out a timeshare resales company before doing business with them. Their ability to network with title companies, realtor/brokers, and handle negotiations will determine whether or not they can deliver as promised.

If their promise sounds too good to be true, run the other way!

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